Like many other combat sports, kickboxing is good for cardiovascular health, weight control and flexibility. And it has one other potential benefit. Because kickboxing can help to stretch your hamstring, calf and spine muscles -- all while improving your posture -- it has the potential to add to your height. In addition, becoming proficient in this sport can instill a confidence that makes you stand taller. For best results, talk to a doctor before engaging in kickboxing to make sure you are healthy enough for regular exercise.
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The length of your legs accounts for roughly half of your total height. Because two basic muscles -- your calves and hamstrings -- make up your legs, kicking exercises can stretch your legs. Begin by assuming a basic combat stance, with one foot in front of the other. Allow your weight to be evenly distributed between your legs, and point your hips forward so that they align with your shoulders. Shift your weight to your front foot, and snap your back foot forward and up in a straight kick. Keep your hamstrings and calves as straight as possible as you kick for maximum stretch benefits, and aim higher with each successive kick.
Hips and Lower Back
Poor posture can have a negative effect on your height. You can add extra centimeters to your height by expanding your hips and lower back with a kickboxing exercise called plyometric situps. These exercises stretch your hips, hamstrings and lower back while toning your abs. The National Strength and Conditioning Association website recommends beginning by lying flat on your back with your legs together. Take a deep breath, and exhale as you lunge forward at the hips, sending your upper torso upward to a sitting position. Keep your legs flat on the mat as you sit upright and punch the air in front of you with each fist. Return to a lying position, and repeat as needed.
If you frequently slouch, your spine can gradually lose the distinct curves that help support your body. One spine-stretching kickboxing exercise combines kicking techniques with a traditional dead-hang stretch. Begin by grabbing a chin-up bar or other supported beam, and allow your body to hang freely. Relax your shoulders, neck and spine as much as possible so that your muscles gradually relax with the help of gravity. This spine-stretching exercise mitigates the compression caused by poor posture and slouching, After a minute or so of hanging, begin raising both legs at the same time while keeping your knees fully extended. At first, you may only be able to lift your feet up to your hips or stomach, but with time you will come closer to touching your head. If keeping both legs together is difficult, try tying your legs together at the calves, using a rope.
Kickboxing is a demanding aerobic sport that requires a moderate amount of physical fitness. Talk to your doctor before engaging in kickboxing classes to ensure that you are healthy enough to participate. Avoid trying these exercises if you are recovering from an injury in your back, hips or legs.